Sunday, June 15, 2008
Updated: June 16, 12:48 PM ET
Sources: MRI needed after another knee injury strikes draft prospect Walker
By Andy Katz
Representatives for Kansas State redshirt freshman Bill Walker were scrambling to secure a commitment from a team drafting late in the first round after Walker injured his right knee during a workout in California this weekend.
Multiple sources close to Walker, and at least one who attended the workout in the Bay Area, said Sunday night that Walker would undergo another MRI on his knee Monday. Walker was one of 24 players at the Golden State Warriors' facility to work out in front of representatives from 21 NBA teams. The players in attendance were projected as being between the 20th and 45th picks.
Monday is the deadline for underclassmen who haven't hired agents to withdraw from the draft and return to school.
Walker has had multiple knee injuries during his playing career. He played in six games during the 2006-07 season before tearing his ACL in his left knee. He graduated from high school that October and became eligible for Kansas State in December. Playing as the understudy to Michael Beasley on the Wildcats this season, Walker averaged 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Walker has worked out for Detroit (29th pick) and Toronto (17th). He turned down an invitation to the Orlando pre-draft camp last month.
Reached late Sunday night, Kansas State coach Frank Martin, who hadn't been informed of the extent of Walker's injury, said he was told that Walker would not decide whether to remain in the draft until just before the 5 p.m. ET deadline.
If Walker were to return to Kansas State, and is healthy, then he would surely be the focal point on the Wildcats after Beasley declared and stayed in the draft by signing with an agent. Kansas State lost to Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournament after the Wildcats beat Walker's former high school and AAU teammate O.J. Mayo and USC.
A year ago, Kansas guard Brandon Rush suffered a torn ACL prior to the withdrawal deadline and was forced to return to KU. Rush ended up helping the Jayhawks win the national championship in April.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.